I am a waitress at a local restaurant and since we are located in the bottom of a hotel, we don't see a lot of business. (It's Buccis in Crowne Plaza on Engle Road...check out our menu!)
With that being said, sometimes I am the only waitress. This is sometimes a blessing, when we are steady but not out of control so I get to make decent money, sometimes a bore, because I'm all alone with no business and sometimes a complete mess because there are too many tables for anyone to handle and no one gets good service. Unfortunately, Thursday was a complete mess.
I started with a 2 top (that's a table of 2 people in restaurant talk), then a 3 top with an old woman that wanted the lights turned down because it was "too bright" and the music turned down because the music was "too square" (which I'm pretty sure NO ONE knows what square music is), then a 5 top, and on and on...Alone. Needless to say, I got behind on some of my tables, a woman told me it was by far the worst dining experience she's ever had and she would never come back, I spilled spaghetti when I was serving it, and got stiffed on several of my checks. Honestly, I don't blame customers when they don't give me a good tip if I haven't given them my best service, however it just added to my frustration. I started tearing up, but in serving, just as in show business, the SHOW MUST GO ON. I sniffled back my tears and started smiling through my tears.
My saving grace? A couple that are my regulars and a single man that both gave me encouragement to make it through the night. The couple soothed me and said mistakes happen and told me I do a great job and that I just was really busy and sometimes that happens. The single man wrote on his bill, "Keep that Smile." If it weren't for them...I for sure would have lost it. I appreciated them just sitting back and accepting me taking a little bit longer to get them things. THANK YOU. YOU HELPED ME KEEP MY SANITY.
Time: ~5 minutes.
If you ever see a worker a little stressed, remind them that they are great at what they do. They'll appreciate it if they are having a rough day.